The history of the Royal North West Mounted Police (later named Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is rich with characters who have left their marks on the landscape. Sir Samuel Steele was one such notable figure.
He was one of the officers to lead the new recruits of the NWMP on the 1874 March West.
As an officer of the North-West Mounted Police, he was famous as head of the Yukon detachment during the Klondike Gold Rush, and commanding officer of Strathcona's Horse during the Boer War.
By 1885, Steele held the rank of superintendent. He established a NWMP station in the town of Galbraiths Ferry, which was later named to Fort Steele in British Columbia, after Steele solved a murder in the town. He then moved on to Fort Macleod, District of Alberta, in 1888.
While in Britain, Steele was knighted, on 1 January 1918, and was made a Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, and Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. Steele died during the 1918 flu pandemic just after his 70th birthday and was later buried in Winnipeg.
Canada's fifth-tallest mountain, Mount Steele, is named after him.
CFB Edmonton, the home of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) is now called Steele Barracks after Major General Steele.
He was honoured on a Canadian Postage stamp in a set of 5 depicting the Klondike Gold Rush, issued on June 13, 1996.
Fascinating story, but there are also other great members of Canada's national police force to tell you about. Have I got your interest yet? I hope so. This and other historical figures will be on display at the Edmonton Stamp Club National Show, March 28 and 29, at the Central Lions Recreation Centre, 113 Street 111 Avenue Edmonton. I hope to see you there.